News

Bexley Council consulting on new additional and selective landlord licensing schemes

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - Bexley Council

London Borough of Bexley have launched an additional and selective landlord licensing consultation with all interested parties that runs until Tuesday 24 January 2017.

The council are consulting with residents, tenants, landlords, resident associations, managing agents, estate agents, other London Boroughs and anyone else with an interest in the scheme.

The proposed additional licensing scheme would extend licensing to all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) throughout the borough. At present, licensing is only required for larger HMOs that are three or more storeys high, occupied by five or more persons and who form more than one household.

The proposed selective licensing scheme would involve licensing all other private rented properties in the DA8 and SE28 postcodes covering the Erith and Thamesmead areas.

Cllr Brad Smith, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Bexley Council said:

"This is a big change and we would like anyone that may be affected to find out more and take part in this important consultation.

"By extending licensing powers, we hope to drive up standards and protect tenants, landlords and the local community while helping the Council to regulate these properties better. If it's accepted, this scheme will bring us into line with a number of other councils who already have it in place and have seen the difference it makes."

According to the council, there has been a significant increase in private landlords sub-dividing properties in some areas of the borough, with most HMOs located in the Erith (DA8) area.

Data published by the council reveals that there is on average 9% more incidents of anti-social behaviour or nuisance per property in the private rented sector than other tenures. The highest levels incidents are in post code areas SE28 and DA8, with 34% and 23% of properties having problems compared to the borough average of 19%.

The council say they are keen to work in collaboration with all parties throughout the planning and implementation of the proposed scheme and they want to hear from everyone who will be affected by the proposals.

According to the council, the licensing scheme is designed to support tenants, landlords and residents who are living in or near the properties with the highest levels of anti social behaviour and nuisance. By extending licensing powers, the council think it will drive up standards and protect tenants, landlords and the local community whilst helping the council to better regulate these properties.

The introduction of a licensing scheme will require the condition of a property to comply with specific standards relating to fire safety, provision of amenities as well as space standards.

The licence holder will also be required to be deemed suitable by the local authority.

The scheme would also specify how the landlord should deal with notifications of anti-social behaviour.

The council's public consultation exercise is open until 24 January 2017. You can find out more and take part at: www.bexley.gov.uk/rentitright.

You can also contact Bexley Council by email rentitright@bexley.gov.uk or Telephone 020 8303 7777.

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